Topic: Rugby League

Madison Bartlett set to debut for Kiwi Ferns

By Moana Makapelu Lee

Ngāti Porou's Madison Bartlett has made the Kiwi Ferns squad for the first time. She makes her debut next month in their clash against Australia. Now she's gunning for a selection in the World Cup this year. 

It's a dream come true for NZ's rising league star. 

Madison Bartlett (Ngāti Porou) says, "I am so stoked. It has definitely been a big goal for me making selections, especially with the Rugby League World Cup this year. So I really want to do my best and make the line-up for that.

She is one of six debutants who will earn their first cap in the one-off women's rugby league Anzac clash against Australia's Gillaroos in Canberra next month.  

Bartlett says, "We all know our roles and we know what we have to do. We will be focusing more on attack, that's where our strengths are. I think we definitely have a lot more strengths than the Gillaroos, so I think we're in good stead."

Madison is feeling confident as she gets the best support from long-time friend and established player Georgia Hale. 

Bartlett says, "There's no words to describe how happy I am. She's not just my best friend but she's also been a great mentor. When she first made the Kiwi Ferns we always talked about this day and how we looked forward to playing in the team together. So it's an awesome achievement for us both."

But her ambitions don't stop there, the young achiever is now tackling a new challenge to perfect her reo and add to the small pool of te reo Māori speaking league athletes.